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Based on its successful initiative in China, Gerber Technology today announced the creation of the Gerber PPE Task Force and Resource Team to support their global customers and partners as they work to increase their production or transition to manufacturing personal protective equipment (PPE). In a global context where COVID-19 inexorably continues to spread, the global shortage of masks and other personal protective equipment needed to keep healthcare workers safe is a concern of everyone. 

Coronavirus (Covid-19) has been and continues to be a cause of global concern. From the impact it has had on everything, starting, unfortunately, with thousands of untimely deaths and severe illnesses, to more prosaic concerns such as the effect on stock markets and sporting events, Covid-19 has left no region or person untouched with no end in sight. An area that continues to be impacted is supply chain and retail, beginning in China and now continuing into Europe and the United States. 

As more companies move to remote work for employees in the wake of COVID-19, the customers and partners we serve here at Gerber are finding themselves impacted in new and unexpected ways. 

For me personally, the prospect of remote work is nothing new; and fortunately, there is no shortage of tools to assist. As a veteran of many Silicon Valley companies with internationally distributed teams, I have at various stages of my career worked remotely from planes, trains, automobiles -- and home -- since 2008, an era when working from home was simpler and our main concern was practicing good time-management. Needless to say, I’ve used my fair share of collaborative platforms and tools. 

While I have a lot of experience with the flexibility and autonomy of being able to do my job from any corner of the world with an internet connection, many of my colleagues, partners and customers are now finding themselves thrown into the world of remote work for the first time in light of the coronavirus, and have been asking me for guidance. When you have to design and produce garments, collaboration is essential -- especially since in the fashion supply chain, so many experts must be involved in every step of the process. End-to-end solutions are not just the latest accessory, but an absolute must-have. 

So, let’s take a look at how you, my dear colleagues, partners, customers -- and soon-to-be customers! -- can best manage remote work during this uncertain time.

COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, is making its presence known in many countries around the world, and, at the time of this writing, is gaining traction. Switzerland has banned gatherings of more than 1000 people, and the Geneva International Motor Show has been canceled. Italy as well finds itself in the grips of one of the largest health crises of its time. In the so-called “red zone” in Italy, more than 50,000 people across 11 villages live under lockdown.

Understandably, people living in the countries affected by the coronavirus are seeking to protect themselves however they can. Often, this involves wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks. Paradoxically, however, production of PPE takes place in China -- the nation currently hardest hit by the coronavirus epidemic. Publications such as Wired and many others have been reporting on potential NR95 mask shortages globally, as China, a central part of the PPE supply chain, struggles to catch up with increased demand for safety masks. 

Graphic designers around the world are wildly enthusiastic about the fact that textile design is truly having a moment in 2020. From London to Paris to New York, bold and unique designs and prints are walking every fashion runway; while colorful and creative interior design is dominating the world of furniture and home decor.

Media platforms are awash with the work of creative textile designers around the world, creating a highly-networked marketplace for design work that did not exist a mere decade ago.

Everyone can agree that while we love an eye-dazzling textile creation, it takes a lot of work on the part of a very talented textile designer to achieve the end result. Sadly too often, however, the technological needs of modern designers fall by the wayside. While there is indeed a very heavy focus on automation in many aspects of textile and soft goods manufacturing, most of the time, this focus is on final stages of production, only. Designers can, however, benefit immensely from automation at the very beginning during the design process, as well.


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